In the midst of their ongoing legal battle against Mississippi’s Department of Corrections, Jay-Z and Yo Gotti have caused a major medical provider to end its relationship with one of the prisons as a result of the conditions there.
On Saturday (August 1), Pitchfork reported that healthcare provider Centurion is set to terminate its contract with the Parchman correctional facility on October 5, 2020.
According to the website, the company’s CEO, Steven H. Wheeler, said in a memo: “we do not believe we can further improve the effectiveness of our level of care without additional investment from the Department in correctional staffing and infrastructure along the lines of what we have already recommended.”
In response, Team ROC’s attorney, Marcy Croft, issued in a statement, “we hope that Centene’s decision to end its relationship with the Mississippi Department of Corrections sends a clear message to Governor Tate Reevesn — it’s time to invest in the health and well-being of the people in your prisons.”
Centene is Centurion’s parent company.
Since January, the two rap moguls have helped more than 227 inmates secure legal representation to filed a class action lawsuit against Mississippi’s Department of Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall and Mississippi State Penitentiary Superintendent Marshall Turner.
The suit alleged the inmates at Parchman were being subjected to inhumane living conditions while in confinement. In July, Hov and Gotti hired outside medical experts to look further into inmates’ conditions at the correctional facility where they discovered that they received subpar healthcare, with inmates suffering from serious health conditions going untreated. Nor were protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus were not being followed amid the pandemic among other grievances.
Croft criticized the conditions and called for improvements in the way prisoners are treated.
“There is no excuse for the 53 deaths across the Mississippi prison system over the past several months, many of which were preventable,” her note said. “We will not stop until the incarcerated receive consistent and competent medical care, especially now with the COVID-19 crisis. This must be a priority.”
(Photo from left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy and Kevork S. Djansezian/Getty Images)